The Semblance of Truth: The Development of Dialogue in Computer-Based Characters.

Dr. Michael M. Meany
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Using a play written by the author as a case study this paper examines the development of computer characters in a theatrical production. In particular, it examines the use of interaction, audio and visual interfaces, and variation in prosody to generate 'a semblance of truth' that Coleridge argued is a requirement of the 'willing suspension of disbelief'. Further, the paper argues, following the logic of the "Media Equation" by Reeves and Nass, that it is belief, not disbelief, that is automatic. From this stand point, the paper argues that an audience would accept computer characters in the same manner as they would accept human characters.

Keywords: Theatrical production, Computer-based characters, Audio interfaces, Visual interfaces, Interaction design, Narrative design
Stream: Constructing Art Worlds, Audiences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Semblance of Truth, The

Dr. Michael M. Meany

Lecturer, School of Design, Communicaion and IT
Faculty of Science and IT, The University of Newcastle


Michael Meany is a lecturer in communciation at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Michael's background includes careers as a freelance writer; a typesetter and publication designer; and as a playwright. From these varied careers, Michael brings to his teaching an eclectic mix of skills.
His research interests include: script writing and virtual environments and narrative/interactive media design.

Ref: A06P0164